Click here for the PDF: How schools have stepped up to support students and whānau
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruption for students across New Zealand, both from lockdowns, social distancing and ongoing uncertainty. The Education Review Office interviewed 750 schools and surveyed over 2500 principals and teachers across the country, from May through to September 2020, to understand how they have responded.
It is clear from this research that schools have gone above and beyond to meet students’ needs and the needs of their whānau. In particular they have:
There have been significant challenges for schools to overcome. This short research excerpt shares the key findings and examples of good practice from how schools across New Zealand have responded to Covid-19.
“[It was] like having five years of relationship-building in seven weeks.” – Principal
“My son has autism. During lockdown, he was sent an education package which didn’t suit his style and level of learning. But his teachers were fabulous – they worked together with the other agencies to make sure my son was supported at all times. They checked in with us on a daily basis and set some simple tasks for my son, but more importantly they advised us to have fun learning together as a family. I learnt to talk with my sons, not at them! I have four sons and learnt new things about each one of them, even my autistic son.” – Parent
“There was a drive-through here for us to come and collect the packs and kai, those without cars got them delivered to their front step.” – Parent
“I felt I was falling behind in my work. Regular catch ups with my Learning Advisor helped me to keep track of my progress and know what to do.” – Secondary school student
"The overarching philosophy of the school is a learning community, it's relational, very supportive. We all work closely together." – Teacher
This summary is an early release from this research. ERO will release the full findings from its Learning in a Covid-19 World research programme early in the new year. This will include the impact Covid-19 has had on students, and the practical actions schools can take in 2021 to support students, whānau, and teachers with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19.